Two companies that were used by Amazon for delivering their packages in the Portland area are suing the eCommerce giant, claiming that the unsafe and unreasonable conditions they imposed on drivers negatively impacted their business and injured employees.
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The two companies filing the lawsuit are Beaverton-based Triton Transportation and Vancouver-based Last Mile Delivery. They are suing Amazon for $15 Million plus damages and attorney fees. When asked, Amazon declined to comment on the litigation.
Amazon’s Unreasonable Expectations
This lawsuit doesn’t come as much surprise as back in September we ran a story that exposed the reality of the Amazon driveri system and how it was unfairly punishing drivers.
In the litigation, Triton and Last Mile allege that the eCommerce giant dictated every element of their businesses, including which drivers to hire and how much it could pay them, and the hours they worked.
They accuse Amazon of refusing basic accommodations, such as using smaller vans in the narrower streets of Portland’s West Hills. Amazon “refused to allow Plaintiffs any ability to modify or optimize those routes to account for terrain, density, traffic congestion, construction, or any other important considerations,” according to the complaint.
Drivers were also frequently working 12-hour days to meet the delivery demand, however allegedly Amazon would only reimburse the companies for 10-hour shifts. Meaning that the delivery companies had to pay the difference, including overtime, from their own budgets.
They also allege that there was no flexibility to allow drivers to slow down and avoid creating hazardous situations whilst on the road.
The litigation also claims that there were “unreasonable requirements resulted in numerous injuries to Plaintiffs’ drivers, including back injuries resulting from the fast-paced load-out requirements at the warehouse and falls and strains from rushed deliveries,”
The litigation was filed last Monday at Multnomah County Circuit Court, Portland, Oregon. We will keep our eyes on any updates on this case as if successful this could pave the way for other delivery contractors to pursue similar lawsuits for the unsafe and unreasonable claims.
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